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03 June 2021

Comment: court rules housing asylum seekers at Napier Barracks was unlawful

2 mins

Today, the High Court has ruled that the Home Office’s decision to house asylum seekers at Napier Barracks was unlawful, after the living conditions failed to meet a minimum standard.

Jessie Brennan, solicitor in our Public Law team comments: 

We are very pleased that the Court has recognised the terrible conditions at Napier Barracks, which were reminiscent of a detention centre and placed residents at an unacceptable risk of contracting Covid-19, infection and death or injury from fire. The Court found that the conditions did not meet the basic legal standard required.

It also found that the Home Office’s system for identifying people who it accepted should not be accommodated at the Barracks, including victims of trafficking and torture, and those suffering from serious mental health conditions, was not adequate. This inadequate process lead to many people, including some of our clients who are victims of trafficking and torture, being taken to the Barracks where they were subject to squalid conditions and were unlawfully detained.

People seeking asylum in the UK are incredibly vulnerable by virtue of their experiences in their home countries and on their journeys to the UK, yet the Home Office has shown flagrant disregard for their welfare by placing them in such inappropriate accommodation.  

We hope that the Home Office will take immediate steps to ensure no one else is subject to such treatment, and transfer all those still living at the Barracks to safe accommodation.

For more information on our Public Law team and the services we provide, visit our web page here.   

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